Fonds Volumes 537-539, microfilm reel 78 - Meadow Brook Fellowship Fonds

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Meadow Brook Fellowship Fonds

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CA CMBS Volumes 537-539, microfilm reel 78

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  • 1931-2005 (Creation)

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40 cm of textual records
1 microfilm reel

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Biographical history

The Meadow Brook Fellowship was first known as the Leamington Mennonite Brethren church, which held its first membership meeting on January 18, 1931. However, among the first Mennonites to arrive in the Leamington, Ontario area were Heinrich and Nicolai Schmidt with their families. Heinrich was a member of the Mennonite Brethren church. Realizing the need for spiritual fellowship, as they had experienced in Russia, the new arrivals met for worship in private homes regardless of Mennonite denominational affiliation. These services in German were often held without ministers being present. Isaac Tiessen, who had been an Evangelical Mennonite Brethren minister in Lichtfelde, Russia arrived and was asked to serve the new group. In 1931 participants from the Mennonite Brethren and the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren background, encouraged by the ministers from Kitchener, gathered under Isaac Tiessen's leadership and affiliated with the Molotschna Mennonite Brethren church of Kitchener. On August 28, 1932, the new group joined the Ontario Mennonite Brethren Conference and met in Brown's Hotel and Watson's store. As the Leamington Mennonite membership increased, the vision emerged to build a sanctuary. Since the United Mennonites and Mennonite Brethren followed different theological persuasions, and since the Kitchener (Molotschna) Mennonite Brethren church and its affiliated congregations had developed a plan to form a conference, sixteen Mennonite Brethren members in Leamington decided on 2 October 1932, to form a separate congregation. A delegation composed of Isaac Tiessen, Franz Bartel and Heinrich Koop presented the decision to Elder N. N. Driedger on 9 October 1932. The increase in Leamington MB's membership led to the purchase of land and then building of a church. On 11 June 1939 the membership delegated the brethren, Gerhard Dick, Frank Bartel, Gerhard Willms to purchase property on Elliot Street. An addition was built in 1958, but the property was subsequently sold. The present church was completed in 1965 and expanded in 1979 with a gymnasium and education wing and expanded again in 2003. The Leamington Mennonite Brethren congregation's earliest activities centered on its internal spiritual needs through evangelistic meetings, Bible conferences, Jugend Verein and choirs. As time went on, this expanded to include a radio ministry for ten years, a Daily Vacation Bible School, Bible clubs, and boys' and girls' clubs. The church has actively supported local food banks and the distribution of clothing through thrift outlets. The congregation has also been engaged in expansion of its ministry. In 2003 Laotian immigrants, sponsored by neighbouring churches and individual families, worshiped in the facilities as a separate congregation. A youth pastor has helped to start the South Point Community Church in Leamington. For a time two Sunday morning services were held with slightly different worship styles, but by 2003 this had returned to one service. Baptisms, which were once held in Lake Erie, are now conducted in the church baptistry. Worship services for the seniors in the Leamington Mennonite Home and other retirement homes are regularly provided. Isaac Tiessen, who was ordained in 1935, became the first salaried pastor. Services were held in German until the 1950s when the transition to English began. In 1942 the membership stood at 115 and in 1959 at 164. In 1980 the membership stood at 194 and in 2000 at 246. The church was served by Rev. A. Huebert and Rev. Isaac Thiessen ([before 1942] - 1946), David D. Derksen (1947-1958), Henry Warkentin (1959-1963), Abe J. Konrad (1964-1974), Art Willms (1975-1981), Albert Baerg (1982-1987), John Nikkel (1987-1993), Henry Regier (1994-2004). In part from

Custodial history

The material was created and collected by the Leamington Mennonite Brethren church, who then donated the materials to the Centre at various times.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of materials created by the Leamington Mennonite Brethren church, which consists of minutes of the church council, Board of Deacons, Board of Elders, membership, and spiritual concerns committees, annual reports, directories and, bulletins.

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  • English

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